Google And TechnoServe to Boost Entrepreneurship in Tanzania

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Google has partnered with TechnoServe and the University of Dar es Salaam in a multi-billion shillings business plan competition. The competition - Believe, Begin, Become, is to be run for the second time in Tanzania, but this time involving more partners and bigger prizes.

Speaking to journalists ahead of the competition launch, Atiba Amalile said the business plan competition will involve business ideas which require funding of between $50,000 and $1,000,000 which will be provided by Google and partners.

The competition is co-organised by TechnoServe and University of Dar es Salaam Entrepreneurship Centre which last year ran two separate competitions.

"We realised that we are targeting the same people with the same motive, hence continuing working separately would be wastage of resources," said UDEC director Dr Donath Olomi.

Amalile said the first winner will get the whopping $20,000 while second and third winners will pocket $15,000 each. He said other three winners in the third place will go home with $10,000 each, while the following four will get $5,000 each. "The business plan should be viable, legal and profitable in three years," he said.

The total of $530,000 will be provided as seed money, while some entrepreneurs will be linked to some potential financiers for support. "Apart from offering cash prizes, we want to promote the culture of making use of business support services," said Dr Olomi.

Other supporters of the competition are a Netherlands-based Business in Development Foundation Network, and local prize partners which have been grouped in three categories of gold, silver, and bronze.

Those are Barclays Bank Tanzania Limited which is a gold prize partner and Tanzania Gatsby Trust, a silver prize partner. In the bronze category there are Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), Azania Bank Limited and Tanga Cement Limited.

Last year, TeachnoServe and UDEC, separately attracted 1111 entries in a similar competition, whereas 622 entrepreneurs were trained in seminars, 143 receive training and developed business plans and 115 participants were invited to an investors forum.

Some 30 entrepreneurs won overall seed capital and Business Development Service awards worth $380,000. This year's competition will be launched tomorrow with industrialist Reginald Mengi as guest of honour.

The Citizen